Spring Cleaning Your Career: Are You Ready for the Job Search?

by EdgeLink on April 21, 2015 in Candidate Job Search, IT Staffing

Spring Cleaning Your CareerIt’s hard to miss the fact that there is a lot of momentum in the IT industry in today’s market. Demand is high, and the challenge of attracting and retaining talented tech professionals is creating a lot of competition between companies. If you’re looking to make a move in this active job market, now is the time to dust off your career and get ahead of the game.

At EdgeLink, we work closely with our candidates to make sure they find the perfect fit for their career. Here’s some of the best advice we’ve come across to help you get ready for the job search.

Step 1. Explore Your Motives for Leaving the Old Job

If you’re constantly sneaking glances at online job boards or checking LinkedIn to see what opportunities your connections may present, then it’s probably time to admit to yourself that you’re officially ready for the job search. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to examine your motives for leaving your current job in the first place. Are you bored? Annoyed by your coworkers? Growing stagnant in your skills? This step is essential in being able to define your career goals and also avoid being tempted by any potential counteroffers from your employer to make you stay despite your unhappiness.

Step 2. Reevaluate Your Career Goals

Once you’ve tied down the reasons for leaving your current job, you’ll have a better perspective on exactly where you want your career path to lead. Are you looking for a more team-oriented work environment? More opportunities for growth and learning? A more dynamic leadership team? Too many people skip these first two steps, which leaves them meandering through the job search with little direction and focus. If you want to expedite your job search and find your dream career, these steps are essential.

Step 3. Revamp Your Resume & Brush Up on Your Skills

When’s the last time you updated your resume and any accompanying cover letters, portfolios, and online profiles? Now is the time to spruce them up with all your latest accomplishments, achievements, skills, and experience. If you’re worried about keeping your job search confidential, make sure you change your LinkedIn settings to private so that your current employer won’t be tipped off. Also take some time to brush up on your technical skills, making sure you’re up-to-date with any industry trends. These steps are essential in getting ready for the job search, ensuring you’ll be ready to apply to any opportunity at a moment’s notice.

Step 4. Research Companies and Network Accordingly

Armed with your updated resume, and with your goals and reasons in mind, it’s easier to figure out what industries and types of companies to look into. Many organizations choose not to advertise on job boards, and it is only through their own websites that you’ll find their open positions and be able to apply directly. LinkedIn is also a valuable source to connect with people from those companies, giving you a window into company news and events. Take time to stay active in your online networks, nurturing any relationships with ongoing conversation.

Step 5. Get Prepped for the Interview

Whether it’s been a decade since your last interview or just a handful of years, nerves can run high when you have to present yourself in person. And there’s little point in getting prepared and ready for the job search only to blunder your way through a miserable interview. A successful interview depends upon your confidence and ability to portray your accomplishments and experience. It’s not a bad idea to rehearse a few answers to typical interview questions, but if you’re confident in your abilities, the answers should come easily when the time comes. Remember, an interview is a two-sided conversation: You want to make sure this is a good fit for you, too. Ask plenty of questions to get the big picture of how your career path pieces into this organization’s business goals.

Bonus Step: Find a Great Recruiter

If you have a full time job and a busy home life, chances are that you’ll find it challenging to dedicate this much time and effort into your career “spring cleaning” efforts. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to reach out to a great recruiter who can guide you through this process, taking much of the burden off your hands. Although you’ll still need to examine your motives and career goals, update your resume, and make some network connections, a recruiter can offer you the benefit of a broader and richer network and cutting edge recruiting technology to help you find the right fit for your career.

If you need a hand getting ready for the job search, reach out to our recruiters today.